tv BBC Newsnight WHUT March 27, 2011 8:00am-8:30am EDT
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-- wha can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc newsnight." >> this week, unrest in the wealthy ireland -- island kingdom of bahrain. we investigate it tends to crush the month-long uprising by the shiite authority. >> it is a dangerous thing to do. >> i think you're creating a monster, feeding a monster that you cannot control. >> we explore bradley manning's motivation for allegedly leaking documents to wikileaks. and claims that he has been punished before his trial through harsh treatment in prison. >> the continuations of the policies the u.s. government has been using at guantanamo bay and other such sites and past has now come to american citizens. >> for an innovation in libya with the french philosopher who urged president sarkozy to take action there.
and the editor of a pan arab newspaper. ♪ >> hello. at least 20 people have been killed in recent weeks as bahrain's sunni rulers backed by saudi led military force and to crush a month-long uprising by the tiny island kingdom's chez at -- shiite majority. the u.n. human rights organization set up to 100 people have been reported missing since the government began cracking down on the protests. before those protests even began, we were investigating the regime's attempt to stifle the opposition. here is his assessment of the current standoff. >> after four weeks of protests, on march 16, the baring police and army cleared the square. five protesters are dead. an estimated 100 missing. some arrested, some in hiding, fearing for their lives. there is a climate of fear across the shia community.
since march 16 in the clearing of the protesters, the government has cracked down hard on protesters. i have been rg eivintext messages from people, and an e- mail describing house is rated in the middle of the night have been ransacked and loved ones taken away. twitter is full of accounts of protesters. bahrain is a country that has presented itself as being one of the most democratic states in the region. the capital was on track to be the financial center of the middle east. but there is another side to this story. this is a majority shia country ruled by a sunni royal family. for years and until last summer, she and villages had been regular demonstrations. young men claiming they are treated as second-class citizens. the were demanding an end to
discrimination in housing and jobs and more democratic rights for the majority shia population. most importantly, for now, they cannot get jobs and the police -- in the police are armed forces. the government brings in sienese from pakistan, driven, and yemen to fill in those jobs. a harsh clampdown started in august of last year left demonstrations grubbing for the past. >> one of them is doing it like this, and they will stick it through my legs. it was a handicap. and they left me in between two things. >> he was one of 400 shia alert -- rest of us summer. u.s. the british taxi driver but born in bahrain. >> i cannot even sleep.
i was crying that i wanted to sleep just for one hour. but they did not let me. >> you confessed, didn't you, as did the others? was that confession under torture? >> yes, it was. >> he was picked up in august with 22 others, all she a, a church with financing and supporting a terror organization. >> are you a terrorist? >> it was a joke. it was a joke from the government just to show anyone who is raising people's demands. >> i was in bahrain in december, following upon the wave of arrests that caught him. we had our equipment impounded at the airport and we were costly -- closely followed by at the four cars. driving around at night even then, the security presence was evident. armed police regarding every shia village.
there were two brought factions. ruling sunni muslim regimes in the gulf war increasingly destructive of their shia communities. when protesters came up on february 14, it should have come as no surprise to the government. the only suppresses the numbers were huge and the protesters kept coming. in the early morning of february 17, having just promised protesters they could stay for three days, the government cleared the roundabout. it justified its action by sing protesters were driving the country to sectarian events. hundreds were injured and four killed. a concession to the protesters did not sit well with bahrain's powerful neighbor saudi arabia. the two countries are joined by a causeway. saudi troops roamed bahrain. the saudis have their own history of discrimination toward
their shia minority. the ability of the ruling leaders to put down popular protest was causing great anxiety in the royal family in saudi arabia and elsewhere in the region. bahrain is a tiny island nation in the gulf. it is one of a cluster of small suny-ruled states but is setting up the east coast of sunni saudi arabia. across the gulf are two huge populous shia-dominated countries. iraq and possibly nuclear-arms to iran. the king of jordan raised the specter of the shia crescents stretching across the middle east from lebanon hezbollah on the mediterranean to she a majority bahrain and the eastern province of saudi arabia. but have they ever played the sectarian card? if so, why are they doing it? >> it is a great survival tactic. if you can meet the sienese the
could be -- the sunnis feel that they're going to be attacked because they are sunni are be undermined, they will back the government to try to keep their status in society. as far as the region, if you try to raise these sectarian dimension of the whole thing, you get the gcc troops coming again to try to protect the status quo. >> is that a dangerous part to play? >> i think it is extremely dangerous. i think you're feeding a monster that you cannot control. >> pulling down the monument at the roundabout seemed a strange way to respond to a crisis. perhaps the leaders there it by removing the symbol of the protest, and they could remove the protest itself. as events in the middle east have shown elsewhere, it is not that easy to stop the rising tide of either democracy or is sectarian strife.
>> from revelation to revolution. it is claimed the americans' secret unearthed by in a democratic uprisings across the middle east and north africa. while julian assange spends his days in the splendor of an english stately home, an alleged source, a u.s. intelligence analyst charged with aiding the enemy, is locked up in solitary confinement 23 hours a day in the military prison. after bradley manning claimed he was forced to sleep and a stand to attention and naked, the u.s. secretary of state spoke to describe the harsh conditions as counterproductive and stupid. he was forced to resign when president obama insisted the authorities admit basic standards. our reporter has been to washington to investigate the forgotten man of the wikileaks story. >> bradley manning is like a butterfly which flapped its
wings and caused a hurricane. the man privy to his country's secrets who decided to give them away. from egypt to libya, we have seen the consequences. bradley manning always went against the grain. the kid from a religious family was outspokenly atheist. born in conservative rural oklahoma, but also gay. egested intelligence analyst who ultimately was a hacker. his alleged betrayal and treatment in prison since have divided a nation. for eight months, bradley manning has been awaiting trial in a cell at quantico military base here in virginia. >> free bradley manning. >> it is a focal point for protesters angry at his treatment by the military authorities. they see him as a hero who exposed the wrong, a political prisoner. two others passing by the protests, a private manning is
a traitor. >> what do you think of bradley manning? >> this is where he belongs to the cur -- this is where he belongs. >> across the street, a former soldier and marine. she sees it as most americans do. >> i think if you give up cigarettes that impact our military when they're operating in a war zone -- if you give up our secrets, you have to be punished. you cannot just give away our secrets and expect nothing to happen. >> few people have seen bradley manning since his arrest. in the washington suburb, i caught up with david hanks, a computer research and friend of the soldier. he is that it -- visited him 16 times. >> he grew up with at the to the morality. he is not the kind of percentages of for one candidate or another or one party or another, but he is interested in the truth and what is actually at the going on behind the scenes and how it affects people around the world and at home. on top of that, bradley manning
considers himself to be a patriot. >> bradley manning bradley story started here with the man who turned him in. he is now in hiding after getting death threats because of his decision to do so. adrienne lamo is a convicted computer hacker turned informant with a history of psychiatric illness. >> i have been a mental patient and convicted felon. i have stolen information. i have used drugs. >> yet, he is at the heart of the prosecution case. it was to him that manning allegedly confessed all in conversations through text-based instant messaging. manning on base inl iraqbaseama in the u.s. -- many on base in iraq, the other in the u.s. >> it took the information to military authorities because i had become convinced that i was dealing with the real thing. as a result of statements that
bradley manning had made to me that i had authenticated with a former special agent in armyvi counterintelligence. >> let's just say someone i know intimately will has been penetrating u.s. classified networks, mining data like the ones described, and has been transferring the data from the grass by networks over the air get on to a commercial network computer, sorting the data, compressing it, including it, and of loading a it to crazy aussie who cannot seem to stay in one country very long. crazy white haired dude equals julian assange. >> i believe that to be for the good of the many rather than the good of bradley manning. >> do you have regrets? >> i certainly do have regrets. i regret that bradley manning came to me after having leaked
material. i regret that he is sitting in a cell while julian assange is free. >> by the time the revelations that the newspapers, bradley manning had been arrested. considered a threat to tional security, his supporters say he is being treated harshly. >> we see some who is forcibly stopped. someone who's made to stand for the other prisoners in the mornings. someone who is mistreated by his captors after media events are after protests near the brig. i think all of this together is not just the confluence of random events. but actually a conservative -- a concerted effort to get bradley manning to undergo psychological and emotional man as the statiot bradley manning is being treated like any other maximum security prisoner who poses a risk for himself, despite the fact that
manning, his lawyer, and several military psychiatrists say that he is no suicide risk. it is an important debate. while many people believe that bradley manning should face justice, many more are disturbed by any suggestion that he may be being punished at his trial. even the president himself has got involved. >> with respect to private manning, i have actually asked the pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting their basic standards. they issue army that they are. >> bradley manning may be sitting in a cell 35 miles away, but his presence is increasingly being felt here in washington, d.c. not just because the protesters like this one. a spokesman for the secretary of state, hillary clinton, described his treatment is
counterproductive, ridiculous, and stupid. what it did was exposed divisions within the government about how to handle the case. because the last thing they want to do is to encourage public sympathy for the man accused of the biggest leak of classified documents in american history. >> free bradley manning. >> protesting in support of bradley manning is daniel. he knows what it is like to be accused of treachery for leaking secrets. in 1971, he leaked the pentagon papers, which show the american government had lied about the vietnam war. what do you set your country and who described bradley manning as a traitor? >> it is a terrible word for a patriotic american to hear. it is not sending you can laugh off easily. he said to me as a going to go to prison for life or even be executed to get this information out to the american public and to the world. not just americans. he saw american supporting in these cables, supporting a corrupt dictatorships all over the world.
he thought americans should know that but also the people of that area. >> for daniel and his fellow protestors, supporting manning is worth getting arrested for. on the streets outside the white house shortly after our interview. without private manning, they believe the democratic revolutions of the middle east would never have happened. but while manning languishes in prison, a bigger prize for american prosecutors lies out of reach. the julian assange of wikileaks. there is speculation that another reason for private manning's harsh treatment is to make him confess that julian assange helped him extract the information. there is suddenly a desire here in washington to challenge head- on the idea that the indiscriminate dumping of classified documents is somehow a good thing. >> you can do that, but you do it at great peril. the problem is, you do not understand the context in which
the information has been classified. so something that looks to you as being simple and unclassified or improperly classified may result in all kinds of harm that you cannot anticipate. >> but others believe bradley manning has released a genie from the bottle. >> i think that if bradley manning is guilty of the allegations against him, he is not an exception. he is a herald of things to come. >> i want people to see the truth, regardless of who they are. because without information, you cannot make informed decisions to the public. or maybe i am just young, naive, and stupid. >> if the charges stick, but the time bradley manning is released, he will no longer be young, and he will re-enter a world that he has already reshaped. >> and military operation by a
coalition of countries to enforce a u.n.-backed no-fly zone over libya is under way. how justified is the intervention? my colleague spoke to the philosopher and writer who called president sarkozy and urged him to take action in libya. joining them was the editor-in- chief of the panera newspaper -- the pan arab newspaper. >> this is obviously a very important intervention that you may. take us through what happened. >> i do not know if it was so important. no, i was just in benghazi on the ground. i saw terrible things. i came back to france with horrible seven years, and i think that i contributed to convince the president of
france that there was a situation of huge emergency, that there was a human blood bath which was occurring, and that intervention was fairly justified. i was so convinced that if we did not do something, as prime minister cameron said, it would be a massacre in benghazi. gaddafi made statements which were absolutely did not make any doubt that if he went in benghazi, his intention was to really make carnage. so i called a cirque's and said this is happening. i told him also that i had the chance to meet the heads up the national libyan group. that these cuts, contrary to the propaganda, but there were not al qaeda.
they were not muslim brothers. there were muslims, of course, but moderate. they wanted democracy. willing to build a democracy. and that was absolutely not possible for our countries that to listen to these appeals. >> you did not have similar thoughts about, for example, what happened in gaza when the israelis made siege to it? or you did not think of the indications of perhaps the former north african colonial power getting involved again? >> no, because it was a really different story. in gaza, you had the government led by hamas, which is a fascist party, oppressing the people of gaza and throwing rockets on the south of israel. wait a minute.
the benghazi people did not throw rockets on anyone. they are peaceful people. they're not a fascist party. there is nothing comparable to hamas. if you compare gaza to benghazi, you speak exactly as gaddafi speaks when he says that the peaceful people of benghazi art al qaeda members. >> all right. as you know, we have another guest here you cannot surely object to what was a humanitarian intervention. >> no, definitely, it is an honorable intent to protect civilian people from a lunatic, a cruel dictator like colonel gaddafi. >> what is your problem with that? >> the selective as to my problem is the long term mortars -- motives and the hidden agenda behind this intervention. i would like to remind the guest that i was born in a refugee camp in gaza. 1400 people were massacred by
the israeli bombardment of gaza. i believe the people of gaza are peaceful people. they're not actually fascists. and hamas was elected in a democratic election. it was fair. >> this is not an argument with the election. unfortunately. >> there is a widespread feeling that there is a hidden agenda here. what you think that is? >> you know, the western intervened in two arab countries. iraq and libya. it is not a coincidence that both countries are oil-producing countries. they never intervened, for december, in yemen, who actually are peaceful and they have the legitimate right to have a democracy. there's also the same thing happening in bahrain. we never had western intervention, simply because these countries are not oil-
producing countries. >> can you deal with that argument? >> of course i can deal with that argument. you know, number one, it is not a western intervention. it is an intervention with the blessing of the united nations. >> their only american, french, and british planes. >> no, there is a mandate of the united nations, which is very different from iraq. iraq was a war out of the law, without any mandates. that is one of the numerous reasons why this was a very nasty war. this one has a mandate of the united nations. number two, this intervention to protect the civilians as the blessing of the arab league. the arab league was the first to express concern about the fate of the civilians could you
cannot compare iraq and libya, number one. number two, if there was a secret agenda of the westerners to put their hands on the oil of libya, they have a very good way to do it. which was to make its deal with gaddafi, as they did. they have their hands on the oil of libya. unbacked, nasty deal with gaddafi. >> i will talk about the arab league. one of 22 arab countries. only one arab country is participating in this campaign. >> so far. >> the rest of the arab world is perfectly happy to see this in a lunatic murdering his people? >> no, they're not happy with that. the should intervene. they should do it themselves. not with the united states every time they have a problem. they're capable. >> why have they not done that?
>> the west shouldxert pressure on them and say this is your problem and you have to solve it. >> they need the west to tell them that it is their problem? >> yes. at the west says it will not intervene and you have to do it, use been $103 billion to why warplanes, missiles, and arms so you can do it. not every time you have a problem to come to us. >> when your brother is dying, when your brother is dying, you have to ask the one who is coming to say, if he is an error, if he is ok, if your brother or son is safe. and use it, no, do not save him. yes to die. >> ok -- >> listen, whoever saves them for me is good. >> look, they are our brothers, and we want to save them. it is a must.
what i am is saying about the selective in this,it says is an things about the people in gaza, about the people in south lebanon when they were bombarded for 24 days but the israelis? this is our problem actually. >> ok, we have got to leave it there. thank you both much. >> that is all from this week. from all of us, goodbye. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. ♪ >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies.